On the senate floor early this afternoon, after Republican Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-9, Ritzville) said the senate should adjourn until Monday (which would almost guarantee a second special session), a number of his GOP colleagues agreed and gave speeches about the importance of taking the weekend off so they could get back to their homes and celebrate the Easter holiday.



Sen. Murray responded by pointing out that today, Friday, is a Jewish holiday, Passover, and that two Democratic senators from Seattle, David Frockt (D-46, N. Seattle) and Adam Kline (D-37, S. Seattle) were in Olympia working to get the budget done. Murray thanked Frockt and Kline for "willing to forego their very holy day in order to get the business of the state done.”

As for the budget itself, the Democrats appear to be calling what they think is a Republican bluff.  The senate ways and means committee is currently considering a batch of reform bills (both Murray's liberal bill to get rid of tax preferences such as the exemption for big banks on interest earned on first mortgage loans and the Republicans' must haves, such as a constitutional balanced budget amendment and K-12 employee health care reform).

"Let's vote these bills out of committee," Murray said before heading off to chair the meeting. "Let's see if they have the votes" on the Senate floor.

Majority leader Sen. Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane)---calling Republicans' bluff under the assumption that they don't actually have the votes---said she would vote with the Republicans "as Sen. Mike Hewitt," the Republican minority leader who's out recovering from surgery, if the reform bills were moved to the floor.

Even if the GOP did have the senate votes—and it's not clear that they do given that it was the senate Republicans who blinked on passing the K-12 health care bill (indicating they didn't have the votes thanks to lobbying pressure from Premera which benefits from the current K-12 health plan)—the conservative reform bills would then go to the liberal house.
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